Quite often I will get questions about how to get into a SLP program. I thought I would share my tips with you. Let’s face it, it is hard to get in and any little edge you get, the better. Will these tips guarantee that you will get in? No but they might help. I’m not that familiar with the French programs so this may have an English bias. Click on the university and it will direct you to their SLP program.
There are six English Programs
- University of British Columbia
- University of Alberta
- Western University
- University of Toronto
- McGill University
- Dalhousie University
There are five French programs
- Université Laurentienne
- Université Laval
- Université d’Ottawa
- Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières
- Université de Montréal
TIPS TO GIVE YOU AN ADVANTAGE
1. While many admission requirements are similar, there are enough differences that you need to target which school(s) you want to apply. Ensure you meet ALL requirements for that school. I also recommend that you apply to more than one program.
2. Take more than the minimum required courses. Try to get as many courses you can on language, development, anatomy and physiology, research methods and linguistics.
3. You need a high GPA. Most schools set a minimum GPA around 3.3-3.5. Realistically you need it to be much much higher. Think 3.7 and above.
4. Research experience. Many SLPs I know have pretty extensive research experience. Universities seem to favour applicants with more extensive research experience. Try and find work as a research assistant. Do independent studies (if available). If you have an opportunity to be an author on a published paper, do it.
5. Volunteer Hours. Most universities require some amount of volunteer hours. Again, you need more hours than the minimum. Many places and programs will take volunteers. Look at your local health units and different university departments for volunteer opportunities. Make sure you check and see if there are any specific requirements for their volunteer hours.
6. Ensure that your CV and letter of professional interest are strong and well put together. Ensure you highlight your work experience related to working with children, vulnerable populations and the elderly. Highlight any areas that are related to the field of Speech Language Pathology. Take advantages of university programs that are designed to help with resume writing. Have them go over your CV and letter of professional interest. Check, check and double check that there are no grammar or spelling errors.
7. Choose your reference letter writers carefully. Pick people who know you well and can talk about your experience and work ethic. Ask people who have careers/experience that is related to the field of Speech-Language Pathology or working with vulnerable populations.
8. Some programs require that you take the GRE. This tends to make people anxious. It is the last thing that universities look at. While it is important and you should study, focus more on the above strategies.
9. Lastly, if you have questions, do not hesitate to contact the school. They are very helpful and they will give you the correct information.
For those who are applying or are thinking of applying, good luck! It is one of the best careers around!